We continue our 16th Writer/Director Lab with Amelia Roper’s new play EVERYTHING IS NICE, directed by Knud Adams. This is the third installment in a series of interviews with the participants of this year’s Lab. Come and join us for the second Lab reading at our theater at 46 Walker St, May 12 at 3PM!
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1. Briefly tell us about the play you’re directing.
Everything is Nice is a hilarious and deft new play by the dastardly Amelia Roper. Amelia has a guinea pig named Lunch who I dropped one time.
2. Who are your greatest influences?
I like to think of directing as a trade as well as an art, and I’m inspired most by the directors I observed first-hand through assistant directing. I hopelessly aspire to learning the determination of Liz Lecompte, the intellect of Richard Foreman, the patience of Andre Gregory, the insight of Sam Gold, and the balls of Sarah Benson.
3. What part of the Writer/Director Lab process was the most instructive and entertaining?
Most entertaining: reading a love scene with Jenny Schwartz.
Most instructive: reading a love scene with Jenny Schwartz.
4. Tell us about the ‘Director Project’ portion of the Lab.
Being a director in the Lab is like being a jockey in the Kentucky Derby: The ride is thrilling and it feels prestigious, but you aren’t doing much of the work. The one exception is the Director Project, which is designed to get the writers and directors better acquainted in a rehearsal room, which is actually the Soho Rep office. In this year’s Lab, great strides were made in the burgeoning art form of Office Theatre. We learned that all the world’s a cubicle.
5. Sixteen years on the Lab has produced some pretty great plays. Looking over them, do any stand out to you?
While I was interning at Soho Rep, Amy Herzog wrote her beautiful play 4000 Miles, which later premiered at Lincoln Center under the direction of Soho Rep’s former Artistic Director Daniel Aukin. It was gratifying to track the play’s journey from the Lab to LCT3 and then to winning an Obie Award for best new American play.
I assisted current Artistic Director Sarah Benson on Greg Moss’ play Orange, Hat & Grace, which was the first Lab play produced at Soho Rep. Through that exuberant process I got to know Matt Maher, who will be performing in my Lab reading this year, so life comes full circle. At Soho Rep, life comes like a sticker placed tastefully askew.
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KNUD ADAMS is a director of experimental and new plays. He has assisted some of the nation’s foremost artists, including André Gregory, The Wooster Group, Richard Foreman, Sarah Benson, and Sam Gold. His recent productions include Nick Jones’ Salomé of the Moon (Waterwell), Annie Baker’s Body Awareness (Chester, MA), Sam Alper’s Loveplay (Cloud City), Torrey Townsend’sHome Universe (Columbia Stages), Max Posner’s Gun Logistics (Drama League Directorfest), Carmen (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble),Keep Calm – Cuts From Hamlet (Jimmy’s No. 43), and his own play Children of the Future Age (Calliope). Drama League Directing Fellow, Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Corps, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Next up: directing the premiere of the garage-rock concept concert The Highwayman (Ars Nova ANT FEST), serving as Jenny Schwartz’s Associate Director on her play 41-derful (Clubbed Thumb), and workshopping new plays by Mark Sitko, Ken Greller, and Torrey Townsend. www.knudadams.com